Lodi Summer Whites w/ Watts Winery, Acquiesce Winery, Borra Vineyards, St. Jorge Winery

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence -- I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as a sea of friendly "wine peeps" to meet in real life or via those wonderful and time-consuming social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

Lodi Summer Whites

I had an opportunity to review several white wines for a recent #LodiLive summer tasting event put on by the good folks at Charles Communications and Lodi Wine (aka LoCA). The Lodi appellation (Central Valley of California) is largely known for red wine production with Zinfandel topping the charts. Outside of Zinfandel, the diversity of the area supports the production of over 75 grape varieties. Lodi’s diurnal temperature swings aid in allowing the grapes to develop full flavors during the region’s warm and sun-filled days. While the cooler nights provide balance and allow the berries to retain their natural acidity. This bodes well for both white and red varieties and is the reason why some of the region's wines are ripe and (even) fleshy yet wonderfully bright and harmonious from start to finish. Some may call this having the best of both worlds in the glass. Below are four nice selections from the Lodi appellation accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life; so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well my friends!

Watts Winery 2012 Upstream Chardonnay

1) Watts Winery 2012 Upstream Lodi Chardonnay (SRP $15): This is a light-bodied and affordable everyday Chardonnay with a refreshing mélange of soft tree fruit, citrus notes, and a (muted) dusty talc-like/floral component on a lean frame with crisp acidity through the short-to-medium length finish. Overall, this is a nice summertime/anytime sipper that’s enjoyable by itself yet also has the ability to be a good partner to a wide variety of warm weather fare. (Other info: ABV 12.5%, stainless fermentation, cork enclosure). Click here to find this wine.

Acquiesce Winery 2012 Belle Blanc

2) Acquiesce Winery Estate-Grown 2012 Belle Blanc (SRP $24): This is an aromatic and delightful Rhone-inspired blend composed of 60% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne and 10% Viognier. Inviting aromas of pear, white peach, honeysuckle, and melon fill the nose with a fleshy texture that’s balanced by firm underlying acidity. This wine shows full, fresh flavors on a light-to-medium racy frame and is ready for summertime/anytime sipping with subtle spice elements on the medium-length finish. Approximately 150 cases of this wine were produced. (Other info: ABV 13.5%, Mokelumne River AVA, stainless, food-friendly). Click here to find this wine.

 Borra Vineyards 2012 Intuition

3) Borra Vineyards’ Intuition 2012 Field Blend White (SRP $22): This is a moderately complex and intriguing white blend composed of 60% Kerner, 20% Riesling, and 20% Gewürztraminer. Winemaker Markus Niggli broke the rules with this wine -- planting cool climate [German] grape varieties in Lodi's sunny and warm Mediterranean climate. He then reduced yields to a mere one ton per acre to concentrate and intensify the fruit. The result is a pleasing wine that shows inviting aromas of creamy custard, sweet pastry, lemon zest, and spiced honey notes wrapped in a lovely texture with good balancing (bright) acidity. This wine is an unusual suspect for the Lodi appellation and good juice for the money (in my opinion). Besides, when is the last time you had Kerner? Approximately 200 cases of this wine were produced. Cheers! (Other info: ABV 13.3%, 9 months 50% new American oak and 50% once used French oak barrels, natural cork enclosure). Click here to find this wine.

St. Jorge Winery Winery 2011 Verdelho Seco

4) St. Jorge Winery 2011 Verdelho Seco (SRP $18): This wine has a bright and focused core of tropical fruit aromas with suggestions of ripe pear and (subtle) dried flowers alongside delicious notes of stone fruit. The wine carries its weight well with a creamy mid-palate and an agreeable firm spine of fresh acidity that leads to a clean medium-length finish. While having a nice overall vibrancy (from start to finish), this wine has some substance and can pony up to richer dishes – think lobster mac-and-cheese and fettuccine alfredo. Another pairing idea recommended by winemaker Vern Vierra that I can see working out well is wild salmon covered in a sweet Cajun chili sauce. Yummy! (Other info: ABV 14.8%, natural cork enclosure). Click here to find this wine.

Sanderling Bird at #OBX Beach

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

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